The Effect of a Mentoring Model for Elementary Science Professional Development

Apr. 15, 2007

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 18, Number 2 / April, 2007 p. 209-231

This study describes an elementary science model of professional development through mentoring by university science education professors working with teachers at a private elementary school in a regional city in Queensland, Australia.

A cross-cultural collaboration involving professors from the United States and Australia resulted in the socially constructed image of the science education mentor. While there is no generic model for elementary science mentoring, results of data collection reveal that (a) one-to-one mentoring has short-term implications for implementing constructivist science teaching practices; (b) successful mentoring models include facilitating the understanding of science content, exploring elementary science pedagogical content knowledge through modeling, and off-site professional development workshops; and (c) understanding and working from the predispositions of the teachers is an essential component of effective professional development.

Updated: Feb. 17, 2008